Cycle Touring means going on a multi-day bicycle ride. There are two ways you can cycle tour:
- Supported: You receive help/support from someone on your journey. This could mean a support van which carries what you don’t need during the day so that all you have to carry is what you need for riding that day. If necessary, you (and your bike) can jump into the support van (aka the “sag wagon”) and take a rest or skip a portion of the riding. There are scheduled breaks along the way where you meet the support van for snacks, meals and to top up on water. Or, it could mean a luggage transportation service that simply moves your non-essentials (for riding) to that day’s destination for you, but you’re on your own for getting to said destination (i.e., no “sag wagon”).
- Self-Supported: You don’t have arranged support for the trip – you are self-sufficient. You carry your own camping gear (if you’re going to be camping) and there is no one to transport food, luggage, or you and your bike. You’re carrying everything with you as you progress.
I started cycle touring in 2009 when I was 43, and I actually started to LOVE cycle touring in 2015 when I was 49 and finally figured out what really worked for me (I had already discovered an awful lot about what DIDN’T work for me).
I am the consummate “Faint of Heart” cycle tourist. I'm terrified of traffic, I'm asthmatic, and I'm gettin' old. This blog is my way of sharing some information and advice with the other “Faint of Hearts” out there who are interested in self-supported cycle touring. It's not just an activity for "Spandex Joe" with his 200L lung capacity!
I know that, at first glance, supported touring looks like the easier, more pleasant way to go, . My problem with supported cycle touring, though, is the requirement to make it to the scheduled destination each day. There’s no wiggle room for inclement weather, deciding that a place is really super and staying there for a day or two, or just having a “serious sissy day”. You simply can’t beat the flexibility of a well-planned, but minimally scheduled, self-supported cycle tour. And, as a bonus, self-supported is much more economical.
Thanks for reading my blog. Let me know if you have any specific questions that you’d like me to answer for you, or if you have any great tips for “Faint of Heart” self-supported cycle tourists.
|The "Faint of Heart" Author|